Bangladesh: Government of Bangladesh and UNODC forge strategic path forward on developing the ‘Dhaka Roadmap’ Cooperation Framework 

Dhaka, Bangladesh/23 April 2024: Bangladesh, on the cusp of its graduation from least developed country status and propelled by impressive strides in human development and economic growth, is primed for a new phase of comprehensive progress as envisaged in its ‘Smart Bangladesh’ vision 2041. This requires effectively strengthening security, health and the rule of law--and addressing risks posed by issues such as the drug challenge, human trafficking, smuggling of migrants, terrorism and violent extremism and corruption, to consolidate and sustain its achievements.

In this spirit, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Government of Bangladesh and UNODC convened a landmark validation meeting as part of developing 'The Dhaka Roadmap'– a first-of-its kind framework of partnership to guide UNODC initiatives in Bangladesh within the purview of the new Regional Programme for South Asia 2024 – 2028.

About 11 national entities and government stakeholders from Bangladesh engaged in extensive deliberations on the draft ‘The Dhaka Roadmap’ document, further suggesting key policy priorities, gaps, challenges and opportunities for the country.

The intensive discussions helped gather focused recommendations and inputs on key areas of cooperation pertaining to the drug problem, organized crime and criminal justice. These were also aimed at further strengthening the draft cooperation framework including aligning UNODC initiatives on security, the rule of law and health, with broader policy frameworks at the national and international levels.

Additional Foreign Secretary Dr. Md. Nazrul Islam presided over the meeting, in presence of senior officials including the Director General of United Nations Wing at Ministry of Foreign Affairs. “These final inputs are crucial for fine tuning of the cooperation framework which would enhance scope for collaboration and partnership to combat the drug control and crime prevention,” Dr. Islam said.

Thanking the authorities for organizing the validation meeting, Mr. Marco Teixeira, UNODC Regional Representative for South Asia highlighted that it has been a robust initiative and only became possible for immense cooperation from all the relevant entities.

By anchoring the roadmap to the UNODC Strategy 2021-2025, harmonizing it with the UN Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework (UNSDCF) 2022-2026 for Bangladesh and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the meeting facilitated the finalization of the cooperation framework through a concerted effort to fortify national and regional responses against drugs and organized crime, and their intricate web of challenges.

The activity contributed to SDG 16 and SDG 17.: